Wet Denim Daydream A3 5.6
Trip ReportWet Denim is a great solo warm up for soloing on the Captain.
This was my third wall and second solo, climbed it back in 01 so my info is stale. Noticed only one report on the route so thought Id chime in.
Looking back now after some more experience, this was a great choice for a 2nd yosemite solo.
I first did the west face on the leaning tower with a guy from the climb shop and hated it (solo is only way for a stubborn ass like me, I dont play well with others). I then soloed washingtons column on 9/11 (it was crazy, I passed some skyscraper window washers from Chicago who had a cell phone and they were sucking down cigs screaming "its the end of the world bro". I hesitated to return to civilization!
Wet denim was the third wall I did and it was a great prep for my first El Cap route. No complicated traverses, easy hauling, minimal gear needed and no portaledge needed. I planned for two days but felt retarded sitting around at the bivy ledge most of the day. This route would be easily soloed in a day, but start early and it would help to French free the bolt ladder with a backpack on and then use a tag line for hauling the bag on the upper pitches...
I stacked my haul rope in a rope bag neatly and hooked the bag to the belays and hauled while descending/cleaning. Made things go fast. The petzl hook released each time nicely and swung the bag out into the void.
On day 2 I made a rookie mistake, the rope crossed my gri gris locking biner and opened the gate at a belay and it fell all the way to the forest. I remembered reading about Royal Robins using the clove hitch to self belay and that's how I did the last four pitches.
For me the head pitch off the bivy was solid with good heads in place, but scariest because of the ledge underneath.
I remember the placements on the route being easy and solid(A1-A2), exception would be if the heads were gone. Then intermediate skills would be needed for pasting new heads. For me it all went clean since the heads, beaks, etc. were in place. I believe it was the second to last pitch that had a nasty edge off the belay that would slice a rope. I duct taped the tar out of it and put a bag over it since I had to descend across it.
Since I fixed the next 2 pitches off the bivy ledge on day one, I was able to top out and get to the valley and hitch to camp 4 with much of the afternoon left.
The most dangerous part in my mind was the wet descent on the backside of the tower. Don't let your guard down just because you've topped out.
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